Aspen Valley Marathon, half marathon back for seventh round on Saturday |

Aspen Valley Marathon, half marathon back for seventh round on Saturday

The Aspen Valley Marathon will return to the Roaring Fork Valley on Saturday for its seventh edition. The popular race — roughly 1,000 athletes competed in one of the three races in 2016 — takes runners from Aspen to Basalt, a descent of nearly 1,500 feet. Roughly 80 percent of the course is paved, with the rest on hard-packed dirt.

The full marathon is a Boston Marathon-qualifying event. There are also half marathon and 5K options.

The full jaunt begins at 6 a.m. Saturday in Aspen’s Wagner Park, before finishing downvalley at Basalt Lions Park. The half marathon begins at 7:30 a.m., going from W/J Ranch in Woody Creek to Lions Park, while the 5K starts at 10:30 a.m., with the start and finish at Lions Park.

Arizona’s Gary Krugger won his third Aspen Valley Marathon a year ago, finishing in 2 hours, 43 minutes, 33 seconds. Nora Colligan of Texas was the top female finisher in 2016, completing the 26.2-mile course in 3:02:34.

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